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>> welcome to the "journal" here on dw. >> here's a look at what is coming up on the show. >> afghan withdrawal -- the german government backs a big cut in its forces, but is it too much too soon? >> the european union agrees on a set of tougher rules to limit the insolence of the world's largest rating agencies. >> and countdown to wagner's 200th anniversary.
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a major performance of "the rain." the german cabinet has backed a plan to cut troop numbers in afghanistan by 1/3 in the coming year. foreign combat troops are set to leave the country by the end of 2014, but a training and support force will remain behind. >> nato forces have been struggling with the logistics of the withdrawal, and it is unclear if the afghan national army can survive. >> german forces in afghanistan can look forward to coming home. it is the modern german army's most extensive mission, but the end is in sight. the government has agreed on a gradual withdrawal from afghanistan. 1/3 of nearly 5000 soldiers are to be pulled out by the start of
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2014. a year later, all german soldiers will have left, but stability is a key issue. that is why some soldiers will serve beyond 2014. their task will be to support afghan forces mainly with training. >> the security situation has improved a bit, but i would warn against taking that statement to mean the danger is over. we have to be prepared for bad news in the future. >> also being discussed is the question of how many soldiers are needed for the security force in afghanistan. opposition forces warned against high expectations. >> the afghan security forces will certainly manage to create stability in urban areas and along the main transport links, but other structures will
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control the countryside for many years to come. >> but the left party says there will not be peace until nato troops have left afghanistan completely. >> if even afghan generals and intelligence services say the withdrawal of foreign troops would help bring peace, then that is what we should do. >> germany says it will be involved in afghanistan for some time to come. in addition to security, it plans to help fight corruption. >> a new report points out a host of problems with security, the situation in the countryside, and the rule of law in afghanistan. i asked our expert on afghanistan if germany was pulling out troops to soon. >> it depends on the definition of the job done. it is clear that nato has agreed upon a time table to leave afghanistan until 2014, and germany's decision is part of this overarching schedule for afghanistan.
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however, 2014 is a compromise between the situation of afghanistan, what is needed in afghanistan, and what is the political situation in germany, and what can be communicated to the german public. so the compromise is 2014, but it becomes more and more clear germany will be in afghanistan even after that date with a diminished role. may be 1000 or 500 soldiers. >> the report also says there's been little progress in reconciliation and peace efforts with the taliban. why? >> with some efforts for negotiations between the government in kabul and the range of insurgents, but without success. the second part of the negotiation process failed as well at times to negotiate between the taliban and the government, and that leads to the biggest obstacle to peace
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and reconciliation, that we do not have a political solution for afghanistan, and that leads to the concerns that there will be a major security -- a major security crisis after nato has left. >> there are basic -- various scenarios for afghanistan post- 2013, some optimistic and others left so. what kind of situation is the west leaving behind? >> i am more pessimistic. parts of afghanistan will not be ruled by the central government of afghanistan. it will be ruled by a group of insurgents. at the end of the day, we probably will not see a civil war like in the 1990's, but politically and territorially divided afghanistan. >> thank you so much. >> germany will not support the latest palestinian bid to become an observer state in the united nations. a government spokesman said
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berlin was talking to other european states to find a common position. the palestinian authority president is in the united states where he met the u.s. assistant secretary of state. the u.s. says it will vote against upgrading the palestinians from an observer entity to an observer state in the united nations. >> in syria, 34 people have been reported killed in a double car bombing in. reports indicate a suicide bomber blew up his vehicle shortly after a bomb went off. the attacks targeted a town loyal to president assad's government. meanwhile, an unconfirmed report says rebels in aleppo in the north shot down a fighter jet and captured its pilot. egypt pose a political crisis is deepening. clashes erupted in cairo between police and protesters who have been occupying central tahrir square.
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>> they about to stay put until president morsi withdraws from power. >> he insists that his decree is necessary for national security and is only temporary. >> police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowds, but the morning after mass protests, many demonstrators vowed to stay put. critics feel cheated. they say the president's decrees go against the spirit of egypt's revolution. the opposition once he is well on his way to becoming an islamist autocrat, not a precedent for all egyptians as promised. >> what you did to us, mr. president -- you divided the country in half. shame on you. >> tuesday's demonstrations lasted well into the night. some 300,000 people flooded onto tahrir square, numbers not seen since the fall of hosni mubarak.
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the crisis has mobilized egypt's political opposition, who called on protesters to stay put. there have been clashes with police. one demonstrator died of tear gas inhalation. public anger has spread to other cities in egypt. in alexandria, protesters attacked the local offices of the muslim brotherhood. pressure may be mounting, but so far, the president has shown no sign of giving in. >> many of those joining these latest protests also took part in last year's revolution, which overthrew hosni mubarak. >> 1 blogger originally supported president morsi and saw him as a force for change, but the latest developments in the country are giving him reason to take to the streets again. >> he thought his time as a revolutionary was over, but now, he is back at the place where he and his friends protested against then president hosni
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mubarak two years ago the mode is the same as it was then, but the chant is different. he's calling for resistance to the current president. >> i am even more disappointed by the constitutional declaration issued on november 21, which has given him a god- like powers that make him an even worse dictator. >> he is a prominent lawyer. his voice carries weight here. not long ago, he was calling on egyptians to throw their support behind morsi. he shows me videos of various tv appearances and interviews. it is all available online. >> i supported morsi in the presidential runoff because i
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believe that although the muslim brotherhood is not necessarily a revolutionary faction, it is not far from it. i thought he was our only option to help us get rid of the other candidate, who has links with the former regime. >> in that respect, his calculation paid off, but events over the last few days have convinced him that the new president is not good for egypt overall. that is why he is back here on tahrir square. >> with the amount of people today and the revival of the revolutionary mood, i am optimistic the revolution is continuing. i also believe no single faction can lead egypt on its own. >> he says he will continue to protest. in his blogs and on the street. >> coming up, the launch of the german digital library, a portal where anyone on the planet can get reliable information about germany's cultural and scientific heritage. >> but first, a roundup of some
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other stories making the news right now. >> the u.s. government has temporarily banned the oil giant from -- oil giant vp from any federal contracts -- oil giant bp from any federal contracts. 11 people died, nearly 5 million barrels of oil poured into the gulf of mexico at an explosion two years ago. >> the united nations says there are signs of rebels in the democratic republic of congo withdrawing. earlier, the rebels had said they would only withdraw if the government met their demands. m a police in bangladesh have arrested three employees of a clothing factory where more than 100 people died in a fire over the weekend. the men were paraded in front of the media. police say the three are under suspicion of negligence. the government has already
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blamed the fire on saboteurs and. >> the leader of hamas is to make his first visit to gaza next week. a spokesman for the palestinian islamist group said he was going to take part in celebrations of the group cozy 25th anniversary. he lives in exile in qatar. in the internet age, information is easy to come by, but it is not so easy to judge its source and its accuracy. >> the network of german government and academic institutions wants to help change that. they have launched the german digital library. >> it is a portal where anyone can get reliable academic information among germany's cultural and scientific heritage. >> "de preying boy" -- up close and online. "the berlin goddess" -- also up close and online. the german digital library is a fine tune search engine.
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users type in search terms, and the library displays photos, videos, and some recordings related to them. more than 5.6 million books, pictures, films, and pieces of music are available. >> if you use other search engines, you will get information, but some of it might be unreliable. that means you need a good level of knowledge yourself to be able to fill to the information you need. in the german digital library, everything is reliable and qualified. >> the goal of the portal is to make people want to find out more and perhaps even visit a museum. >> some sports now, and the rebel team have a arrive back at their base in britain. >> there were given a warm welcome before sitting down to sign autographs for fans. teammate mark weber also put his pen to paper as the rebel squad celebrated winning the
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constructors championship as well. rebel has meanwhile denied rumors of extended contracts. and middle earth has come to our world -- at least in theaters, that is. the new how the film has celebrated its global debut in new zealand -- the new hobbit film. >> stars along with the director and thousands of fans were out. >> i cannot guarantee your safety. >> understood. >> nor will i be responsible for his fate. >> "the hobbit: an unexpected journey" is the first installment of peter jackson's latest trilogy. >> not shabby. >> that looks pretty good. we are going to go to a break right now. when we come back, spain is set to get some crucially needed aid
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from the eu, for example. >> the block is also taking action to curb the influence of the big three ratings agencies. we will explain next.
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>> thanks so much for staying with us. >> welcome back. four struggling spanish banks will receive nearly 40 billion euros from the e you rescue fund. >> the commission has approved restructuring plans for the four nationalized banks, including spain's fourth largest lender. banks will have to cut jobs and reduce their balance sheets by 60%. >> the eu's commissioner for competition announced the decision. good news for his struggling countrymen. >> the funds come from the european stability mechanism.
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they have been freed up for spain. in total, it is 37 billion euros. >> the ngc banco and bfa bankia will get funds. but it comes with conditions -- the banks agreed to a tough restructuring plans, including the closings of hundreds of branches. they say the bank's need a new business model. >> instead of real estate and other risky investments, the banks will focus on personal loans and on lending to small and medium-sized businesses. >> the steps are intended to allow madrid to return to stability without further help from brussels. >> the u.s. ratings agency fitch has downgraded argentinian debt. the agency says a default by the
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latin american nation is probable. >> buenos aires is in trouble. in argentina does not pay its debt, which it says it will not, it will be technically in default. >> argentina owes money to creditors who refuse to take part in a debt by down after it defaulted on government bonds a decade ago. a u.s. federal court has ordered repayment by december 15. the government has appealed against the ruling. argentina is already struggling with recession, which the fitch report partly blamed on government intervention. fitch also highlighted allegations of corruption and pointed to a wave of protests, some of which have been violent. the court ruled that argentina must repay the $1.3 billion in debt, and if it is forced to pay in full, other holders of debt
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totaling $11 billion are expected to demand immediate payment as well. argentina says that if the court order same place, it may have difficulties in meeting the payments on other bonds. latin america's third biggest economy could be headed for another debt crisis. >> they certainly have the power to send the financial markets into a tailspin. we are, of course, talking about the ratings agencies. >> after years of dithering and delays, brussels has agreed to a set of controls designed to limit their influence, but critics call it a miniature reform that misses the mark. >> weather it is greece, spain, portugal, or italy, eurozone crisis countries have had credit ratings consistently downgraded by the major ratings agencies. a lower credit rating usually means countries have to pay higher interest on any loans they take out. they can also cause turbulence in financial markets.
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the european union has introduced new rules to limit their effect. other agencies will have to publish their ratings outside of stock exchange opening hours. i also have to disclose the criteria by which they make decisions, and the rules should make it easier for agencies to be sued if they have made errors when reading a country's credit worthiness. new rules should come into force early next year. critics say the report -- the reform is not a big break through and will do little to change the way agencies behave. >> so how did the markets react to that news? our correspondence sent us this update from frankfurt. >> normally, investors of the financial markets are not very keen on more control and regulations, but in this case, a little bit more regulation for rating agencies would make sense as also many traders here on the trading floor said, especially the fact that the eu wants the
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rating agencies to show that a timetable would be very important. and not a few times rating agencies did downgrades of countries in advance of important eu meetings, and is also critics say, this is not happening by accident. this may be politics. >> let's get a closer look at those numbers for you. wsip in frankfurt where germany's blue-chip dax settled slightly higher on the day -- we stay in frankfurt. over in new york were the dow jones industrial average is still open, it is also higher by about 0.5%. as for the euro against the dollar, it is trading lower at $1.2926. let's leave the world of money now for just a moment and enter a very different one, the one of the famous composer richard wagner. >> across the planet next year, the music and theater world will be focusing on bachmann, the giant of german opera --
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focusing on wagner, the giant german opera. all over the world, stages will be teaming with performers. >> celebrations have already started in buenos aires with a shortened version of "the rain cycle quarter me -- it is 7 hour -- a mere seven hours instead of the usual 16. >> it is the ideal setting. they are not gold but a baby, a reference to children lost to argentina's military dictatorship. the director's interpretation is dramatic and also challenging. >> it is funny. i like it, but sometimes it is
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pretty heavy going. >> it is very abstract. it lacks grandeur. the argentinian touch is moving. sometimes it is annoying, sometimes painful, too. >> in the tragic climax, the daughter stands amid falling heroes, and other reference to the military dictatorship and the falklands war. it is a strong cast, including the american soprano. >> wonderful. it was an absolute luxury.
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it warmed my heart. >> it was excellent. truly impressive. then in the final scene, the lost children are returned. the shortened "ring" is a success. >> that performance is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication by opera lovers and wagner fans in argentina. they have been deprived of quality performances in recent years. >> but it was not always like that. over the decades, it seems argentina's enthusiasm for wagner has blown hot and cold, but perhaps now it is back for good. >> richard wagner is everywhere you turn in buenos aires. the composer has a long tradition in south america. rovno mania reached a climax in
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argentina. one expert says that during the 1960's, at least two works by the german composer were performed every year. >> they were real stage festival plays. the audiences really prepared themselves. in addition to the sunday performances, there was also a wednesday matinee. after lunch, people started to get ready for the big spectacle. >> the diehard bachmann fans did not miss a performance. he documented the set designs with his own sketches, like this 1962 production. it has not always been easy for argentinian fans. today, the composer is immortalized in the dome of the opera house, but a century ago, the archbishop issued a personal warning about wagner's work. >> we believe that it deeply offends the religious sensibilities of the population.
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it can lead to social discord and enormously damage the theater. >> the plan performance never took place. at the end of the 20th century, repeated attempts to bring wagner to argentina again failed for a very simple reason. >> the problem was that back then, we could not find any good singers -- any good wagner singers. there were not many in argentina, either. that means someone who is 40 or 50 years old today has had the opportunity to see all the big orchestras and musicians, just not bother in all his glory. -- just not wagner in all his glory. >> the and favorite is finally making a comeback in argentina. >> we have not had a situation like this in 30 years. if they continue with this
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degree of advance planning and foresight, we will be able to bring the bachmann tradition -- the wagner tradition back to life. >> you can find out much more about the events surrounding the anniversary at our website, >> you can check it out. thanks for joining us for this half hour on the "journal >>." -- on the "journal." we will see you next time. captioned by the national captioning institute
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